Toughest Gear: MSR XGK-EX Stove

A masterpiece of no-compromise indestructibility.

Rocky Mountain editor Steve Howe has cooked a year’s worth of meals on this burner, and that’s just counting camps he’s slept in above 14,000 feet. Gear editor Kristin Hostetter says, “If you told me I could only have one stove, I’d pick this one.” Here’s why: It burns diesel, kerosene, leaded, and unleaded, and while the flame isn’t always pretty, we never fail to get best-in-class boil times.

When the XGK-EX clogs, we disassemble it, clean it or replace a part, and fire it right back up. Those strengths could be a lifesaver. “In deep cold, when snow is your water supply,” Mike notes, “a reliable stove is survival.” $150; 13.2 oz;